Now that we’ve seen some of the long-term effects of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, it’s time to clean out your SEO closet. Search engine optimization is an on-going process, and these five tasks may feel like menial house cleaning, but they will ensure your site is ranking as well as possible.
1 – Meta Maintenance
Often times SEO can be a game of inches. People frequently forget or simply write-off meta descriptions, believing that it might not be worth the effort. While fixing this sort of issue won’t launch you immediately to the top, it may just be the edge you need to climb from page 2 to 1.
2 –404 Fixes
This is a no-brainer. Make sure your site runs smoothly and fix those error pages! Missing pages are bad for user experience and can also harm your rankings. Make sure internal links are optimized and targeting relevant pages.
3 – Trim Internal Links
Ditch any link if it’s not directing people to a closely related and interesting resource. Consider if you really need all of them. Too many links can be confusing for visitors and dilute the value of your overall internal linking.
4 – Throw Out Bad Links
If your site is more than a couple years old, odds are that at some point in the past you acquired links that were acceptable then but can now hurt you or are just ineffective. It’s easy to pretend we never spammed our sites to directories, but a large amount of people sure did. Google considers a site’s link profile as a whole, so if you have a lot of worthless links the good ones you are now getting will be haunted by the bad ones of the past. You will have to manually delete the old directory if possible, or as we’ve mentioned before, use the Google Disavow tool. Your rankings should go up with a higher ratio of good links to bad ones that are floating around.
5 –Content Clean Up
There’s no doubt that keywords are a necessity for SEO, but be sure that you’re not falling into an old, lazy SEO routine. Previously, it was in your best interest to include keywords a certain amount of the time to rank as highly as possible, but why do not do your site viewers a favor and rewrite that content with your customers in mind and not search engines? The keywords you want to highlight will appear naturally enough in well written text, and you only need them in there a couple of times for Google’s crawlers to understand the page anyway. Get the keyword in the page title if possible, but never force it.
While these techniques may not send you shooting up the rankings on their own, if you don’t have your basics down then you could be looking at a big mess in the future. So don’t let the clutter pile up!